Low testosterone ups depression risk in men

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Washington, July 2 (IANS) Men with low levels of testosterone are at increased risk of suffering from depression than those of the general population, new research says.

“In an era where more and more men are being tested for Low T – or lower levels of testosterone – there is very little data about the men who have borderline low testosterone levels,” said lead researcher Michael Irwig, associate professor of medicine at the George Washington University.

“We felt it important to explore the mental health of this population,” Irwig said.

The research involved 200 adult men, aged 20-77, with a mean age of 48 years old, who were referred for borderline total testosterone levels between 200 and 350 ng/dL (nanograms per decilitre).

The researchers found that 56 percent of the participants had depression or depressive symptoms.

Furthermore, one quarter of the men in the study were taking antidepressants and that the men had high rates of obesity and low rates of physical activity.

The most common symptoms were erectile dysfunction, decreased libido, fewer morning erections, low energy, and sleep disturbances.

The results suggest that clinicians should consider screening for depression and depressive symptoms, overweight and unhealthy lifestyle factors in men who are referred for tertiary care for potential hypogonadism, a condition in which the body does not produce enough testosterone.

The study was publish online in the journal of Sexual Medicine.

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